The more and more hectic our lives become, the harder and harder we find it to get a decent night’s sleep. Maybe you’re getting to bed super late because you’ve been up working into the night, or grabbing a drink with friends, or watching the next must-see series to drop on Netflix. Maybe you’re constantly finding yourself waking up in the middle of the night, or having to get up at the crack of dawn, or – worse still – getting into bed at a reasonable time, but lying awake for hours on end.
No matter which one rings true to you, there are countless factors that can affect your quality of sleep. Unfortunately, however, so many people underestimate the importance of sleep, but you really should do all you can to try and recover your bedtime routine. As a starting point, here are ten ways to improve your sleep.
#1 Limit your screen time
The blue light emitted from the screen of your smartphone, tablet or laptop can really wreak havoc with your sleep, throwing your body’s biological clock way out of rhythm. Put a stop to your screen time at least two hours before bed, then put your phone on airplane mode. Better still, leave your phone outside your bedroom overnight.
#2 Make sure your bed is up to scratch
Of course, it’s vital that your bed is in a tip-top condition if you want to be able to sleep well. Replace your mattress at least every eight years, flip it often in between and consider getting a new bed if your existing frame doesn’t offer the comfort that it should. The Divan Beds Centrehas a huge range of beds, offering the ultimate support for a good night’s sleep – and extra storage space too.
#3 Have a set routine
If you want your body to naturally start winding down for the evening and effortlessly slip into a deep sleep, then routine is everything. You need to be getting up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night, even at the weekend.
#4 Don’t drink coffee after a certain time
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks have a half-lifeof anywhere between four to six hours. That means however much caffeine you consume, half of that amount will still be in your system four to six hours later. If you can, limit yourself to just one coffee a day or make sure you don’t drink any past midday.
#5 Get rid of the TV
Turn your bedroom into a space that’s designed just for sleeping. Don’t have a television in there, don’t play video games in there, don’t do any work in there. You need to create an environment whereby your body knows that when you’re in your bedroom, it’s time to sleep.
#6 Sleep in a cool room
As tempting as it is to wrap up warm and cosy for bed, research has shown that the majority of us actually sleep better when we’re in a cool environment. It’s even said to have a number of health benefitstoo. So, ditch the thermal pyjamas, stick a leg out from under the covers and have some air circulating through the place.
#7 Use the power of nature
You might find that bringing an element of nature and the outdoors into your bedroom can help you to get a more restful night’s sleep. Introducing some plants into your room can help improve the air quality, plus plants such as lavender are well-known for their relaxing properties, helping you to drift off to sleep. If you don’t have any fresh lavender, try buying a mist to spray on your pillow before getting into bed.
#8 Block out any light
Any light seeping through into your room can serve as a distraction and fool your body into thinking it’s time to get up, way before it is. Get some dark curtains or blackout blinds, or try sleeping with an eye mask on. If you have a digital alarm clock that illuminates your room all night too, it might be worth switching to a more traditional clock.
#9 Relax and unwind
Set aside some time for a proper bedtime routine each night, allowing your body to slowly start to switch-off at the end of your hectic day. Switch off the TV, stay off your phone and try listening to some relaxing music. Get yourself a cup of chamomile tea and unwind with a good book; you’re bound to start feeling tired before you know it.
#10 Practise mindfulness
The art of practising mindfulness and guided relaxation is a way for you to bring yourself back to the present moment. It will help you to stop thinking about what happened at work earlier today and to stop worrying about something that may or may not happen in the future. It’s the perfect way to ease yourself into a calm and natural sleep.
Start by choosing just one or two of the above tips to work on, gradually implementing more as you go, and you’ll find that your sleep will start to improve in no time.